Health & Lifestyle

Salmonella Outbreak at Gawler South Bakery

Three people have been hospitalised after 17 cases of salmonella were linked to sandwiches, wraps, rolls and focaccias bought from a bakery north of Adelaide, SA Health says.

Public Health director Doctor Kevin Buckett said the products were bought from Gawler South Bakery and the salmonella cases were confirmed over two weeks.

“Of these confirmed cases, three patients have been so severely ill they needed to be hospitalised,” he said in a statement.

Dr Buckett said the bakery was continuing to trade but had ceased serving “several sandwich-type products containing chicken and other fillings”.

“SA Health, in conjunction with the local council and the business, is investigating its food practices and will continue inspections of their sites,” Dr Buckett said.

SA Health said the age group for confirmed cases was 16 to 70, while the three hospitalised cases were people aged in their 30s and 40s.

More cases are expected to be confirmed once laboratory results come in.

Second salmonella outbreak in just over a year

It is the second salmonella outbreak at the bakery in just over a year, with SA Health notified of eight cases during October 2016.

It did not investigate at the time and said it was instead the responsibility of Gawler council.

Dr Buckett said the latest outbreak indicated there was “an ongoing problem there”.

“The fact that it is a year apart and it is a very busy bakery does indicate perhaps when it is a busy time of year they are making mistakes,” he said.

“That is something we will be working with the proprietors with to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Symptoms of salmonella include diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach cramps, headaches, fever and loss of appetite.

Gawler South Bakery management issued a statement apologising for the food poisoning and said it was working closely with SA Health to investigate its source.

“We have voluntarily shut down our salad bar and will go through all the necessary steps to ensure safety of our patrons,” it said.

“We hope this apology is well received to be genuine and in good faith.”

SA Health said people could experience salmonella symptoms between 12 to 72 hours of exposure to the bacteria and they could last for three to seven days.

The bacteria was usually spread through food, water or hands, with eggs, meat and poultry considered to be “particularly high risk foods”.